Masters and Sense of Time exhibitions International Quilt Festival, Houston, 2008
Juror's Statement for A Sense of Time
Anyone who has constructed, owned, or admired a quilt knows how a single quilt marks time in multiple ways. From design to layout to fabrication, each individual piece of fabric marks a memory, each stitch marks the methodical process of the quilt’s creation. The finished quilt itself bears marks of use and the historical moment in which it was created. The art quilt employs the three-part stitched and “sandwiched” layers of a traditional quilt — but often with an important additional element. The art quilter often alters the surface of the fabrics being used, employing dyes, embroidery, stencils, screenprinting — any process or technique that will best serve the artist’s conceptual focus for the quilt.
For SAQA: A Sense of Time, I selected works which communicate a range of conceptual explorations of time. Seasonal shifts and the passage of time as a natural phenomenon are present in this grouping. The explosive short-term experience of a spinal tap contrasts with the slow changes of a rocky coastal landscape. The past takes multiple forms, from a pieced-together prehistoric dinosaur to the use of rusted farm implements to physically mark the fabric, to an exploration of a modern cultural era through a generation’s music. Slowness of time is revealed in the documentation of the banality of waiting as well as in the physical decay of a tree. The selected quilts use the tools of the art quilter strategically to enhance the conceptual impact and focus of the work. Each piece of fabric, each stitch, and the design itself contribute to an understanding of how time can be addressed from a momentary to a monumental level through this unique and specific art form.
— Namita Gupta Wiggers
Namita Gupta Wiggers is the Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland Oregon. Her recent publications include Unpacking the Collection: Selections from the Museum of Contemporary Craft (2008) and Generations: Ken Shores (2008). Wiggers has published articles and reviews in The Journal of Museum Education, Art Lies, Metalsmith, and AmericanStyle. She earned her B.A. in art history from Rice University, Texas, and her M.A. in art history from the University of Chicago. Selected exhibitions curated during her tenure at the museum include New Embroidery: Not Your Grandma’s Doily, The Living Room, Touching Warms the Art, and GLASS: Melissa Dyne.
Images from A Sense of Time and Masters